The country needs the business sector now more than ever to get back onto solid ground and rebuild the economy. It remains the most powerful driver of transformation and growth in South Africa. The Youth Employment Service (YES) is an important initiative that calls upon the private sector to help the government create critical work experiences for the country's youth. Launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa a little over two years ago, the YES Programme has created many work experiences (nearly 50 000) for previously unemployed youth who would otherwise have had limited employment opportunities. In collaboration with several partner companies, the initiative has injected approximately R2.5 billion into the economy through salaries into youth worker wallets.
Sybrin is proud to have been able to play its part in the empowerment of South African youth. During our 12-month participation in the YES Programme, we had the opportunity to have six young people participate, with several opportunities converted to permanent placements within the organisation.
We at Sybrin are very passionate about the YES Programme and our involvement in this. We believe that the Information Technology industry is key to skills development in South Africa, and the broader Africa. Young and competent Developers, Testers, Artificial Intelligence Coaches, etc., will reduce the need for enterprises to outsource these roles to other markets, creating jobs and keeping the money on the continent. There are many examples where software developed here in Africa is competitive and more ‘fit for purpose’. For us, it’s just brilliant to see young people develop and create futures for themselves and their families.
As AI Coaches, the interns had the opportunity to build complex solutions for processing documents and teaching the Sybrin Low-Code Platform to extract meaningful information.
Driven by technology and innovation, the YES Programme is delivering a cross-country programme through training and evaluation. YES is business, government, and labour tackling the country’s greatest challenge together. It’s a win-win-win.
Sybrin SA’s Chief Operations Officer, Barrie Venter, says that Sybrin has participated in the YES Programme for almost two years and has taken on board around 15 YES candidates.
It has been such a fantastic experience to see young South Africans with six months or less training become extremely employable within such a short period. It gives me hope that we have so much talent in our country, and I fully believe that this program will help our nation address our unemployed youth challenges.
I am looking forward to seeing some of our YES candidates, whom we have either fully employed, or extended contracts with, integrate into our company into other roles where they can add value depending on their interests.
The YES 12-month quality work experience gives unemployed youth a dignified first chance at work. It equips them with a toolkit to be a beacon of hope for their families, households, and communities.
YES recognises the critical role the youth play in shaping our economy and our country. Youth unemployment is a problem that can't be ignored, as six million young people are shut out of the economy. Therefore, YES seeks out ground-breaking ways through innovation, collaboration, and technological best practices to create one million jobs for South Africa's youth. We are driven by business and supported by Government and Labour. The only way to reduce inequality is to get us all into work, build incomes, and invest inclusively.
Visit www.yes4youth.co.za for more information.
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